Pirates Name Burnett Opening Day Starter

Clint Hurdle has announced today that A.J. Burnett will be his Opening Day starter when the Pirates take on the Chicago Cubs on Monday, April 1st at PNC Park. He has also announced that Wandy Rodriguez will get the start in game two on Wednesday night. After that, the rest of the rotation has yet to be decided. In his first season with the team last year, Burnett went 16-10, 3.51 in 31 starts, with 180 strikeouts in 202.1 innings. The...

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McPherson Rated Among Top Rookie Pitchers

Fangraphs has released their top five rookie-eligible pitchers and hitters list for the 2013 season. Kyle McPherson was placed second on their list, alongside some big name prospects. Their ZiPS line for McPherson this season has him pitching 126 innings, with a 6.2 K/9 and a 1.6 WAR. McPherson will battle it out this Spring Training for the fifth spot in the Pirates rotation. He was ranked #9 overall in our Top 20 Prospect list this...

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Larry Broadway Statement on Tyler Gaffney Returning to Stanford

Pittsburgh Pirates farm director Larry Broadway addressed Tyler Gaffney’s return to football with the following statement: “We have spoken with Tyler and he has decided to put his professional baseball career on hold in order to complete his undergraduate degree at Stanford and play his senior year with the football team.  He had nothing but positive things to say about the organization and would like to keep open the...

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Contract Notes: Karstens, J. Sanchez, G. Sanchez, Hawpe, Inge

Tom Singer has a few contract details and incentives for some of the players in major league camp. The details can be read here. My thoughts on each player below. **Jeff Karstens has $1 M in potential performance bonuses. He’d get a bonus of $100,000 each for 150 and 160 innings pitched. He’d get $175,000 each for 170 and 180 innings, then $225,000 each for 190 and 200 innings. If Karstens somehow reached 200 innings,...

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Baseball Prospectus Predicts 79 Wins For the Pirates

Baseball Prospectus has released their pre-season playoff odds and predictions, and have the Pittsburgh Pirates projected for a 79-83 record. The odds give the Pirates a 17% chance of making the playoffs, which is made up of a 6.8% chance of winning the division, and a 10.2% chance of winning a Wild Card spot. Pat Lackey wrote about this earlier today, pointing out that this shouldn’t be cause for celebration, but that it is...

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Travis Snider Picked as a Breakout Candidate

Baseball Prospectus released a list of nine breakout candidates, with each writer picking one player to have a breakout season in the majors in 2013 (h/t Rumbunter). One of the breakout candidates was Travis Snider, who looks to be the favorite to win the starting right field job. Hudson Belinsky picked Snider as his breakout player, noting that the outfielder “could have a very strong year ahead of him in 2013″. Belinsky...

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